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She started having panic attacks at the thought of a whispering campaign about her. Le no longer considers herself a Mormon.
Jenne Erigero Alderks, founder of the blog Birthing in Zion, doesn’t want to see this happen to any other women.
Alderks, a Mormon in the Seattle area, has been talking with her LDS stake president and Relief Society leader about the issue’s impact on women throughout the 14 million-member Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. She, too, hopes for a faithwide policy celebrating breast-feeding women at church. She acknowledges it’s largely a U.S. cultural problem, but wants to see it addressed in a universal way.
The Mormon mom says she has been careful and discreet when nursing her babies, uncovering and covering again quickly, but she won’t use a blanket or go to an isolated area. "Why should I have to leave and miss out on activities and talks just because I am a good mother?"
What about single mothers or those whose husbands are sitting on the stand or engaged in other church responsibilities? Should they leave their toddlers or other children while they go to the lounge?
One of the issues, Alderks says, is common Mormon views of female bodies and modesty.
"If a man sees me breast-feeding and is thinking sexually, it’s his problem," she says. "My husband says there’s nothing sexy about it."
If motherhood is an LDS woman’s highest calling, she says, "get out of our way, and let us follow our conscience on how best to do that."
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